*Editor’s Note: This story was originally published in Oxford Stories
Sara Bailey Yoder, 20, finds such beauty in often mundane things. Because of this poetic interpretation of the world, she is able to uniquely incorporate young people’s interests into her work while adding her own funky touch to each individual painting.
She has created many paintings for students in Oxford, and Yoder said each recipient has thoroughly enjoyed them. Others often describe the “amazing art that Sara’s friends have on their walls.”
Yoder said she asks her customers purchasing a commissioned painting to describe the things that inspire them, what they find beautiful, and what main color schemes they hope to have in their painting and learn their personalities. She said she loves to see other works of art that speak to these customers and asks them specific questions about paintings they are drawn to.
Catering to Her Clients
While Sara’s art is an expression of her own thoughts and ideas, a commissioned work couples that with the customer’s desires. With that information, she implements what they said to create an abstract picture. She said that while talking to her customers, she asks what the theme of their room is or the colors that make up their home.
“One of my favorite parts of painting is creating special commissions for people and hearing their fun ideas for a painting and making their ideas come to life.”
Yoder free-hands everything she does, and says painting is less about the process of physically painting and more about the product.
“I love making my paintings as fun and colorful as possible,” she said. “I don’t focus on perfection because I think that’s unrealistic. To me, coloring outside the line is the best part about creating a painting.”
Yoder said she began painting as a young child, and because it is an expensive hobby she turned it into a way to earn money on the side.
“Now I get paid to paint and do exactly what I love to do,” she said.
One painting recipient, Mia Callicutt, said Yoder is detailed and took her own ideas to heart.
“I thought she put a lot of thought into it,” Callicutt said. “It looked like I had bought it from the store. She really contributed a lot of things that described myself as a person, as well as adding her own touch to it.”
Callicutt said she wanted the main color to be blue/green and to depict a landscape, but to implement other elements of nature while maintaining an abstract tone. she said she was shocked by how creative and beautiful the painting was. Yoder’s signature funkiness is present with a glittered beam of light streaming across the sky of the painting. Callicutt said she has never had a more perfect painting for her bedroom.
Yoder said she hopes her art puts happiness in her customer’s lives and living spaces.